""No one hated it more than me; to this day, no one hates it more than me.""— David Fincher on Alien 3
Alien 3 (or in the title style ALIEN³, or sometimes with space A L I E N ³) is a 1992 American science fiction horror film directed by David Fincher and is the third film in the Alien franchise. The film was released on May 22, 1992. The film stars Sigourney Weaver as Ellen Ripley from the first two Alien films and co-stars Charles S. Dutton, Charles Dance, Lance Henriksen, and Paul McGann.
Alien 3 had faced a lot of issues during the production, including shooting without a script, nor various screenwriters and directors attached. It was supposed to be directed by Vincent Ward, but it was changed into several directors until they chose David Fincher, who was a fan of the Alien series and chosen to be director. When the movie was finally released on May 22, 1992, however, it received very mixed reviews from critics, which was considered inferior to the previous installments of the Alien franchise, and it underperformed at the American box office. However, it earned over $100 million outside North America. More than a decade later in 2003, Fox released an Assembly Cut of the film which has no involvement with David Fincher and it fixed a lot of issues and is considered to be better and received a better reception.
David Fincher eventually disowned the film in 2009 and blamed the film for the studio interference, deadlines and refuses to talk about a third Alien film ever again.
Following the events of Aliens, a colonial Marine starship USS Sulaco is on its way back to Earth. However, a stowaway Facehugger triggers fire on board, leading the ship to eject the slumbering Ripley, Newt, Corporal Hicks and the damaged android Bishop in an escape pod, and the pod crash-lands on Fiorina "Fury" 161, a barren world home to a foundry facility and penal colony inhabited by all-male inmates. The prisoners recover the pod, although the prison dog is attacked by a Facehugger hiding in the wreckage. Ripley is taken to the infirmary and tended to by Clemens, the prison's doctor. When she wakes, she is horrified to learn she is the only survivor of the crash. She is warned by the prison warden, Harold Andrews, that her presence may have disruptive effects. Ripley insists that Clemens perform an autopsy on Newt, secretly fearing that Newt may be carrying an Alien embryo. Her concerns prove unfounded and Clemens confirms Newt simply drowned in the crash. Nevertheless, Ripley insists the bodies are cremated. Despite resistance from the prison warden, Superintendent Andrews, the funeral goes ahead when Clemens covers for Ripley and claims there is a risk of communicable disease.
Elsewhere in the prison, a Xenomorph bursts from the prison dog named Spike, and the Xenomorph grows to full size, picking off several isolated prisoners. One such attack is witnessed by the unstable inmate Golic. However, Andrews dismisses his traumatized claims that a "dragon" was responsible and instead lays blame on Golic, a convicted serial killer. Seeking confirmation of her fears, Ripley recovers and reactivates the remains of Bishop, He verifies that there was a Xenomorph on the Sulaco and that it came with them to Fiorina in the escape pod. Ripley takes this information to Andrews, insisting they have to hunt the creature down. At the meeting room, the prisoners reveal that the facility has no weapons before rejecting her story, instead of blaming the recent deaths on unrest amongst the inmates caused by her arrival, the first woman any of them have seen in years. The Xenomorph suddenly ambushes Ripley and Clemens in the prison infirmary, killing him, and nearly slays Ripley, but then mysteriously spares her and retreats. Ripley then rushes to the cafeteria to warn the others. Andrews orders Aaron to take her back to the infirmary, but the warden himself is dragged into the vents and killed by the Xenomorph.
Ripley rallies the inmates and proposes they use highly flammable toxic chemicals stored at the facility to spark a fire and drive the Xenomorph into an unused nuclear waste storage tank, but suddenly, the Xenomorph cames back and kills Frank instantly, and his fire stick suddenly came down and causes an explosion, and killing a lot of prisoners, afterward, Ripley goes back to her EEV and she reveals that she has a chest-burster inside of her. Dejected, she goes to find the Xenomorph running loose in the prison, hoping it will kill her, but once again the creature refrains, sensing its future within her. Ripley next asks Dillon, the religious leader of the inmates, to end her life; he agrees to do so only if she helps them kill the adult creature first. They form a plan to lure the Alien into the foundry's molding facility, during the chaotic chase, many of the prisoners were killed during the chaotic chase. Ripley and Dillon manage to lure the creature into the mold, at which point Dillon sacrifices himself to ensure the plan's success. Surviving prisoner Morse pours the lead as Ripley escapes, apparently killing the Xenomorph. But it turns out the Xenomorph is still alive and it leaps from the molten metal and goes after Ripley. She activates the overhead fire sprinklers, causing the creature's exoskeleton to shatter from thermal shock, finally destroying it.
The Weyland-Yutani team is met by Aaron, who leads them to the foundry. The team's leader, a man who looks identical to the Bishop android, implores Ripley to come with them, promising to have the embryo inside her removed and destroyed. Seeing through his platitudes and realizing the company is only interested in the creature, Ripley refuses. Aaron is killed when he attacks the company man, while Ripley throws herself to her death in the facility's gigantic furnace just as the Queen erupts from her chest. As she dies, Ripley grabs the face-hugger and holds it to her to ensure it enters the fire. In the aftermath, the prison facility is closed down for good, and the sole surviving inmate, Morse, is taken away. Onboard the Sulaco's escape pod [[mh:greatestmovies:Alien|Ripley's recording from the first film}} plays for the final time in the EEV, and the transmission ends, and the EEV is turned off and the movie ends.
- This is completely inferior to what made the first two Alien movies so great. In fact, it feels different with tons of boring, and unintentional comedy scenes and ego trips throughout the movie to the point where it didn't feel like a Alien movie. It has no huge amount of charm or heart from the first two films, whatever can exist.
- It suffered through a troubled production throughout the years before it was released:
- The film was shot without a script.
- Various screenwriters and directors declined the offers or had their ideas thrown away. It was supposed to be Ripley by herself in Arceon, the wooden planet with Xenomorphs. However, Twohy's proposed script was rejected and was followed by the first draft of what would become the final shooting script, so Arceon was replaced with the prison planet in the final version of the movie.
- Sigourney Weaver went on a massive ego trip causing most of the production problems, particularly with the screenplay. The movie originally had a big emphasis on weapons just like the previous film, but Weaver joined an anti-gun organization shortly after the release of Aliens'. So, the script had to be rewritten to get her back. Weaver is also the one who is responsible for Ripley getting killed off in the series and being the one who demanded that to have happen to her character.
- Nothing in the movie has the same power as the first two movies and the worst thing is the scare factor is far below than that of its predecessors. In fact, the movie feels like a comedy talk show with people who got picked up from a street than being a scary blockbuster sci-fi movie.
- Bad acting, which is full of goofiness and campiness, especially from Charles S. Dutton, Charles Dance and Lance Henriksen.
- Most of the character development of the prisoners on the Fiorina 161 is terrible.
- Some parts of the soundtrack keep cutting out one after another.
- Tons of plot holes like:
- How did the Alien egg appear on the Sulaco at the beginning of the film?
- Ripley quickly jumping to suicide to avoid chest-burster's birth seems kind of far-fetched to add to the drama.
- Speaking of which, how did Ripley even get a chest-burster inside, even though she wasn't caught by the face-hugger from the first two movies?
- Almost none of the scenes have suspense, scary moments or any fun moments throughout the entire film. Instead, it has campy and boring moments, which were mainly caused by an unfinished script.
- The whole movie is very predictable. You can already get that Xenomorph runner is on a prison planet right before the prisoners meet their deaths by said Xenomorph.
- Awful treatment of the characters from the previous films:
- Newt and Hicks, two of the most beloved characters from the previous film die in the crash landing on Fiorina 161.
- Ripley started to become quite an unlikeable character throughout most of the time, which was caused by Sigourney Weaver's massive ego trip.
- The pacing of the movie is extremely sluggishly, and very slow, which is extremely inexcusable for a horror-action sci-fi film. The film keeps dragging, or padding on that makes the whole film feel even longer than it actually is to the point that it might make you fall asleep in the middle or near the final moments of the film. As if the franchise never really cared about the scare-factor stuff anymore.
- False advertising: In the teaser, the narrator states that "on Earth, everyone can hear you scream", implying that it was going to take place on Earth, but as said above, it is actually set on a prison planet and the Alien would not come to Earth until Alien vs. Predator. This is due to the script not being finished by the time the trailer was made.
- What's actually sad is that the official trailer made the third film look like some amazing, suspenseful action horror film. The actual movie has alot less action and suspense until the third act.
- As mentioned in BQ#4, most of the characters played by Charles S. Dutton, Charles Dance, and Lance Henriksen (and even the other cast members who play prisoners) were severely miscast as the prisoners and most of them are either bland, boring, unlikable. The characters also make very bad decisions and mistakes throughout the entire movie:
- There's a scene where Ripley finds Bishop in the junkroom and some of the inmates suddenly came in to attack her.
- While Ripley and the other prisoners are spreading the quinitricetyline in the ventilation shafts in hopes to kill the Xenomorph runner, Frank uses his detonator stick on the ladder, which was a terrible idea, because the Xenomorph comes back to kill him.
- Even though the movie tries to have some emotional moments, most of those scenes just have more exposition rather than actually making you care.
- While most of the special effects are decent, the special effects on the alien for the corridor chase look terrible. The superimposition into the live-action footage is bad enough to the point you can see hints of green composition on the alien (the Alien footage wasn't color corrected, hence the green hue) and the movements are jerky.
- The ending is completely abysmal, with nothing more than killing off the main protagonist at the end.
- The idea of a prison in space full of inmates affected by a fictional syndrome is pretty nifty.
- Sigourney Weaver's performance as Ellen Ripley is still the good selling point of this movie.
- The scene where Ripley is sitting in against the wall in fear and being close to a Xenomorph runner is pretty iconic.
- Elliot Goldenthal's score is well done, and it does have suspense and creepiness too, even if some of the soundtracks keeps cutting out.
- The cinematography isn't too bad.
- Even though the movie is inferior to the first two movies, there is the Assembly Cut on DVD, which tries to fix things and is considered better by the fanbase and critics alike.
- On the topic, the cut removes the chest-burster when Ripley committed suicide at the end of the movie.
- But at least, David Fincher's real cut has yet to exist.
- On the topic, the cut removes the chest-burster when Ripley committed suicide at the end of the movie.
- Aside from the poor chroma-keying, the special effects are decent.
- The design of the Xenomorph as a dog-like creature is actually pretty cool.
The film was released on May 22, 1992, and was not well received by critics, audiences, or the fans of the first two movies, as it was met with mixed reviews. Alien 3 currently holds a 45% rating on Rotten Tomatoes from 60 reviews, with an average rating of 5.34/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Alien 3 takes admirable risks with franchise mythology, but far too few pay off in a thinly scripted sequel whose stylish visuals aren't enough to enliven a lack of genuine thrills." Metacritic assigned a weighted average score of 59/100 based on 20 critics, signifying "mixed or average reviews".
Both Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert gave the film two thumbs down on their show At The Movies, feeling it was repetitious, and they criticized the drawn-out chase scenes near the end of the film as well as the lack of suspenseful action, though they both praised the look and art direction of the film in addition to Weaver's performance.
Alien 3 opened up at #2 on its opening weekend grossing $19,449,867 domestically. It would later make a domestic gross of $55,473,545. In overseas markets, it made $104,340,953. Overall, the film grossed $159,814,498 worldwide against its $50 million budget and was a box office disappointment.
Seventeen years later
In 2009, just 17 years after the release of Alien 3, David Fincher stated in an interview with The Guardian that "No one hated it more than me; to this day, no one hates it more than me." He also blamed the producers for not putting the necessary trust in him. After that, David Fincher disowned the entire film for good, and he never brought the film up again.
- It was supposed to be directed by Vincent Ward, (mentioned above) and the film would have taken place on a planet Arceon, the wooden planet with aliens on it. For more information, look here on Cancelled Movies Wiki.
- YouTube user ramboraph4life deems it as one of his most disliked films of all time and one of his most disliked sequels of all time.